What Are Social and Emotional Learning and Culturally Responsive and Sustaining Education — and What Do They Have to Do with Critical Race Theory? A Primer
Ensuring equity in education, whereby all student groups attain comparable positive outcomes, is an ongoing challenge for policymakers and practitioners. While there is no single strategy for meeting this challenge, two broad approaches have gained traction among those committed to equity: social and emotional learning (SEL) and culturally responsive and sustaining education (CRSE).
Both approaches have recently been called into question in some states and districts for their perceived connections to critical race theory (CRT), which is itself the subject of contentious political debate. This brief explains each of these three concepts, how each one relates to addressing issues of equity, and how SEL and CRSE are distinct from the academic framework of CRT.
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